Happy 80th anniversary to 75 French appellations

In 1936 the first appellations (AOC, appellation d’origine contrôlée) were awarded to 75 wine regions in France. The very first appellations were confirmed on 15 May 1936. It was Arbois, Cassis, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Tavel and Monbazillac. Then during the year a further 70 regions were confirmed.

It is an interesting list that shows which districts were well known and popular at the time. It also tells us something about the wines people liked. They liked sweet wines in those days. In the Languedoc it was only three districts that received an AOC and all three produce sweet vin doux naturel (VDN): Banyuls, Frontignan and Muscat de Frontignan.

Of the appellations on the list from 1936 25 are in Bordeaux and 22 in Burgundy. The others are scattered around in France. Today there are about 350 appellations in France. Since 2009, they have gradually changed their name to the AOP, appellation d’origine protégée. Here is the list of the 76 first appellations: Please note that La Grande Rue should not be on the list. Today it is a grand cru but it was not in 1936.

Vineyard with galet stones in the southern Rhone Valley

Vineyard with galet stones in the southern Rhone Valley, copyright BKWine Photography

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